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Crippled Japanese nuclear plant suffers blackout

TOKYO (AP) — A power failure at Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant on Monday night has left three fuel storage pools without fresh cooling water for hours, the plant’s operator said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the power failure at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant was brief at its command center but continued for hours at three of the seven fuel storage pools and at several other facilities, including one that treats water contaminated with radioactivity.

TEPCO said the reactors were unaffected and no other abnormalities were found. TEPCO spokesman Takeo Iwamoto said the utility plans to restore power to the pool cooling systems as soon as it can determine the cause of the failure.

The utility said the nuclear fuel stored in the pools will remain safe for at least four days without fresh cooling water.

The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami destroyed the plant’s power and cooling systems, causing three reactor cores to melt and fuel storage pools to overheat. The plant is now using makeshift systems.



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